|Samsung Lions – No. 33|
January 28, 1979 |
Busan, South Korea
|April 5, 2001, for the Samsung Lions|
Park Han-yi (Hangul: 박한이, Hanja: 朴漢伊) (born January 28, 1979 in Busan, South Korea) is an outfielder who plays for the Samsung Lions in the Korea Baseball Organization. He bats and throws left-handed.
In July 1997, as a freshman at Dongguk University, Park got his first call-up to the South Korea national baseball team for the team's five annual friendly matches against the USA national baseball team in California, United States.
In July 1998, as a sophomore, Park was selected for the South Korean national team again, and participated in the 1998 Baseball World Cup. South Korea eventually claimed the silver medal two times in a row, and Park led the team attack alongside cleanup hitter Choi Hee-Seop, going 17-for-41 (.415) with 10 runs. In November, Park was called up to the South Korean national team for the 1998 Asian Games, which included professional players for the first time ever. He led his team to their first Asian Game gold medal, going 10-for-23 (.435) with a home run and 3 RBIs as a leadoff hitter.
In September 1999, Park was selected by the South Korean national team to compete in the 1999 Asian Baseball Championship. He was one of the only four amateur players on the roster. Team Korea won their two consecutive Asian Championship, and Park served as a backup center fielder to Lee Byung-Kyu in the tournament. In November, Park competed for the South Korea national baseball team, which exclusively consisted of college players, in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup. South Korea finished disappointing 7th in the competition, but in their first game of the round-a-robin tournament, Park led his team to a memorable 4-3 victory over eventual winner Cuba, smacking a two-RBI single to tie the game up at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was South Korea's first victory over Cuba at the major international baseball competitions organized by the IBAF.
Notable international careers
|1998||Italy||Baseball World Cup||.415 BA (17-for-41), 10 R|
|1998||Thailand||Asian Games||.435 BA (10-for-23), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 7 R|
|1999||South Korea||Asian Baseball Championship||.000 BA (0-for-3), 2 RBI|
Signed by the Samsung Lions after graduation from college in 2001, Park made his KBO debut on April 5, 2001 against the Hanwha Eagles. In his debut game, which was also the Lions' opening game of the 2001 season, he hit a leadoff single in the game's first at-bat off Eagles' starter Song Jin-Woo. Next day, Park smacked his first professional home run against the Eagles. Appearing in 130 games as a leadoff man for the Lions, he had a solid rookie season with a .279 batting average, 13 home runs, 61 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, and finished the runner-up in the 2001 KBO Rookie of the Year balloting.
In 2002, Park played in all 133 regular-season games as the team's leadoff hitter, batting .272 with 137 hits, 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and 13 stolen bases, and made his first All Star Game appearance in July.
Park had a career-best year in 2003. That year, he led the KBO league in hits (173), accumulating 113 runs and 17 stolen bases. He also hit .322, finishing sixth in the batting race. In November, Park competed for South Korea national baseball team in the 2003 Asian Baseball Championship, but his performance was very disappointing, going 0-for-7 as a backup center fielder.
Park had another solid season in 2004, batting .310 (tenth in the league) with 156 hits (fourth in the league), career-highs 16 home runs and 63 RBIs. After the season, he won his first Golden Glove award as an outfielder.
In 2005, Park ranked third in the league in hits (139), posting 9 home runs and 59 RBIs, but his batting average fell to .295.
In 2006, Park led the KBO league in runs (89), posting 134 hits (sixth in the league) and 15 stolen bases, and won his second Gold Glove award. However, his batting average dipped again to .285., and struck out a career high of 62 times.
Park had his worst season In 2007. He struggled at the plate all season, hitting a career-low .267. He finished with career-lows 2 home runs and 27 RBIs, and also posted career-lows in slugging percentage (.309) and on-base percentage (.359).
But Park came back strong in 2008, batting .316 (8th in the league) with a .414 on-base percentage (5th in the league). He missed 20 games due to injuries, but accumulated 117 hits, 41 RBIs and 57 runs.
Notable international careers
|2003||Japan||Asian Baseball Championship||.000 BA (0-for-7)|
Park is known for his extensively lengthy and quirky pre-at-bat routine in the KBO league. He has continued the routine every at-bat since he got his first professional hit right after a long pre-batting warm up in his pro debut game in 2001.
- "Baseball: Medallists from previous World Cups". Beijing 2008. 2008-07-17. Archived from the original on 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- Lee, Jae-guk (November 28, 2006). "Korean Baseball History at the Asian Games (2): Inaugural Dream Team". Sports Seoul (in Korean).
- Lee, Jong-ryul (August 20, 2008). "야구 물올랐다" 최강 쿠바에 역전극. Focus News Network (in Korean).
- Kang, Hyun-goo (December 29, 2004). 박한이 36% 인상 1억 5000만 원 연봉 계약. The Daily Sports (in Korean).